I used to hate-watch the Kardashians. Moaning about their bitching, mocking their trivial (to me) problems. It was unhealthy. No matter what you have on the outside, it can’t make up for what’s missing or twisted on the inside. No matter how good circumstances seem, it doesn’t make up for internal struggles. The grass may be greener on the other side, but you can’t know if it’s real until you walk across it.
DeMar DeRozan is the latest person to remind me of this. The NBA All-Star spoke to the Toronto Star about battling depression. Other professional athletes, such as Royce White and NFL player Brandon Marshall, have gone public about living with mental illnesses.
Whether you’re a casual fan or an NBA addict like myself, we rarely think of professional athletes as human. Especially if you’re a casual fan, the only time you’re exposed to them is watching them play their sport. Maybe a news piece highlighting efforts to give back to the community.
We never think about their feelings when things don’t go their way, like losing. Not that we should, that’s not why most of us watch. But we shouldn’t dismiss their feelings either. Win or lose, players fly on chartered planes, have their warm cars idling at the airport by a team employee and drive home to mansions or luxury condos; but that doesn’t ease the sting of failure. We know that’s not how it works. They didn’t get to that level without holding themselves accountable. Add to that the expectations of people they’ve never met and the weight of exorbitant salaries; that’s enormous pressure. Laura standing over my shoulder while I write makes me uneasy. No one likes to fail, regardless of the stakes. We fear disappointing others more. Professional athletes are human, meaning they deal with the same stressors and problems we do.
Emily moved in with her mom Monday, so we’re empty nesters at 27. I was sad Sunday night, but it never hit me hard. As Monday wore on and I spent the day keeping her out of the way while moving her stuff, the feeling wore off. Like a slow-release capsule, the sadness slowly trickling into my bloodstream. Laura worked from home yesterday, so today is my first full day alone in months. I miss Emily, but I feel refreshed and energized. Laura’s come down with a case of the feels. Before Emily joined us, Laura thought boarding school would be good for our future child. Now she’s in favor of home school.
Living with a 4-year-old taught me a few lessons and reminded me of others:
Spontaneity – When Emily was with us I had no excuse not to go shopping after dinner. What was I going to do at home? Try watching basketball while she performs a musical in front of the TV? I get anxious after being away from home for so long, even if there isn’t a reason for me being there. Emily chipped away at the comfort and safety I found at home, nudging me to go with the flow.
Live in the moment – I’ve noticed a blue bird on my past two runs. Emily shouted every time she saw a bird. No matter how many she saw, the next one would be the most amazing creature she’d seen. Same for the hundreds of lady bugs sneaking into the house; constantly pulling me away from my adulting to gawk at the spotted insects.
It’s a new day (Yes it is!) – The sunrise brings possibilities to help leave yesterday where it belongs. Emily never woke in a bad mood after being upset about having to go to bed.
Not everything has a purpose – Emily has tons of dolls, animals, Shopkins & Squinkies to play with, but sometimes she’d play house with two of her doll’s boots. Everything I write doesn’t have to be a novel. Poems that go nowhere are fine.
Feel your emotions – She literally cried, smiled, laughed, cringed and scowled every day. It’s okay to feel, just don’t throw a fit.
Ask for help – It’s not cool for me to ask Laura to help with my socks because I just really don’t feel like putting them on, but I shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for assistance in other areas.
I don’t have much today. Laura told me I’m being distant again. I’ve felt it. Not nearly as bad as I once was, but there’s enough slippage that she notices. I’ll always go in and out of depressions, but I’m working on not letting them affect my relationships. Communicating them to her helps, but I usually don’t. It’s a challenge, but I’m ready. I know I can do it because of how far I’ve already come (with her help). The first long run I did after being diagnosed, when I first started running, she rode her bike alongside me. I was so pumped because I felt accomplished for the first time in years. In that moment, she told me she hadn’t been sure she would ever get me back. We’ve come a long way.
When it comes to writing, it’s much easier to get stuff done when I relax and don’t get overwhelmed with other things. Focusing on one task is easier (& more efficient) than working on one & worrying about 3 others.
Also, I’m going to change the layout of the site soon. I really want to get rid of the scrolling featured posts on the home page and just have a list of recent posts. That’s how I like seeing blogs, especially new ones I’m checking out for the first time.
I’ll leave you with this song since we’re listening to it in the office.
The only thing worse than an accidental baptism? An accidental bris.
This blog is all over the place (like this post). It’s hard focusing on one area. I want to share my daily experiences of living with major depression. I guess documenting random things does that.
Anyway, I skipped Monday because I didn’t feel like rushing a post (patience is key in our depressed household). We took Emily to the park to play with her cousin. Like most things I don’t plan on, I wasn’t feeling it beforehand, but Laura had the day off & spending time with adults can’t be a bad for me, so I embraced it. And I had a good time. I took my laptop and a book (The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt) in case I got bored, but we threw the football & I pushed them in the swing, even talked my nephew into rolling down a hill. Laura almost baptized Emily (whom she was carrying) by nearly falling in a stream, then Laura’s sister peed herself from laughter. Good times.
I wasn’t sure what to call the body of water Laura almost fell in, so I looked it up. According to this site you can step over a brook, jump a creek, wade across a stream & swim across a river.
Switching gears, I’ve been slogging through 6-mile runs for marathon training. After doing 12 miles Sunday, I feel ready for my next 6-miler. My 12-miler wasn’t miserable, but it reminded me there’s always something worse. We all have problems in our lives, big or small, relevant or irrelevant, but every now & then we’re reminded of the positives. Ta-da! That kind of makes sense.
Happy Chinese New Year! It’s officially the Year of the Dog. Unless my planner is wrong. Woof Woof!
I remember listening to a podcast about the Chinese Zodiac while driving last year. The hosts mentioned fire pig and I was like That’s what I want to be.
I looked it up when I got home. I’m a horse. According to this site (which I hope isn’t made up) my strengths are a nice personality, a lot of friends, independence and endurance. I do have a nice personality. I definitely don’t have a lot of friends, although most people seem to enjoy my company (even though I’d like nothing more for them to get hugged by a fire pig). Independence and endurance? Meh…I run endurance races. My weaknesses are a love of spending money and a lack of persistence. I don’t love spending money, but I’m not good with money. Lack of persistence is true, especially if I’m not all in on something.
In a freaky twist, my blood type apparently affects how great of a horse I am. Having Type A blood, I’m industrious and persistent, which directly contradicts what I said above. I also have a quick temper.
Particularly, I’m a metal horse. “Frank by nature with a ready tongue, sparing no effort to help friends.” I’ll take it. Looks cool I guess.
Check yours out. Hopefully you’re something badass like a fire pig, earth rabbit or water monkey.